Ill health retirement


After speaking to my rheumatology nurse and my GP I have decided to apply for ill health retirement. I have been on sick leave since November after having an elbow replacement, I am now waiting on a date to get the other one done. I have got an appointment with occupational health next week and I was wondering if anybody has got any advice. I work as a teaching assistant in a special needs school and it is a Rey physical, hands on job. There is no way I can risk going back to work there.


14 Replies

  • We have a publication you can download with information about work that may help you here is the link: .

  • Thanks Alison, I have already read that publication but it is more for people who wish to carry on working. I am at the point now where I realise it's time to quit.

  • Here is a link to the goverment website on ill health retirement: .

  • Thanks

  • Hi Julie - I don't have any advice that will help, but your comment about your chosen profession reminded me of one of my best friends - She is a physical therapist, and at the ancient age of 52, she retired... without any diseases. She was just so beat up she couldn't do it any more. You have my empathy...

  • That is exactly how I feel. I am 50, I was first diagnosed 15 years ago and have been working in the job for 20 years. What people don't realise is that a teaching assistant in a special needs school is a bit of a jack of all trades. Our job involves physical therapy, personal care, medical intervention and behaviour management. We sometimes have to physically lift children in and out of chairs, and can be physically attacked by the children. Being on sick leave made me realise how much the job was taking out of me.

  • Wow - That is pretty brutal -15 years in that profession with RA is amazing...

  • Hey girl sorry to hear you are leaving your job because of this damn disease, I also took medical retirement however it was kind of forced onto me and left with little choice other than to leave the job I had for 28 years, but now and after a period of of 6 months or so I felt good enough to look for another job and hey presto I secured a job at my local airport and 2 weeks in I'm am now in a full flare looks like I will be losing my new job as it is a bit physical so devastated at this end. But I will do my best until I can't physically go on.

  • Hi, sorry to hear that. Working in a school I have got used to feeling rejuvenated during the school holidays only to find myself completely exhausted by the end of the first week of term.

  • Ditto Jewels94

  • If you have letters from your GP and rheumatology nurse supporting your case, you really shouldn't have any problem, just stress how your 'hands on' work is damaging your body.

  • Hi Julie, I've done the same job many years ago and know it's bloody hard work even when your fit and healthy never mind in pain ! You've done an amazing job to last so long but even though you will miss it you can always do volunteering in mainstream schools helping with reading - as with all types of schools they all need more help with something . I currently work in mainstream and it still has its stresses and strains - hence I'm currently on the sick myself at the moment. Good luck with the retirement x

  • I agree- teaching and support in schools is both physically and mentally tiring: from the minute you step through the door until you leave- and then it continues at home! We all love what we do and are privileged to be an integral and influential part of tomorrow's adults lives; it's just made so much harder doing it with RA. Nobody chooses to stop but we all have the right to live a life outside of work: a good work-life balance is healthy; whether it be voluntary or paid work. Whatever you choose to do Jewels94, nobody will judge you - we are all here all support you.

  • Thanks everyone for all the support. I'm not worried about proving I'm no longer capable of doing the job. I have spent the last few years overcompensating for the things I can't do by pushing myself to the limit on the things I can just about manage. I'm just worried I won't get my pension if they say I'm capable of doing another full time job. Don't know what I'd be able to do though. I can't do anything manual because of my elbow replacement. I can't do anything that requires manual dexterity because my hands are really deformed. Just hope they can see that.

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